SPOKANE, Wash. – John F. Haught, Ph.D., a distinguished research professor in Georgetown University’s theology department, will discuss “Science, Theology and Pope Francis’ Ecological Vision,” in Gonzaga University’s Flannery Lecture at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 2 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. The event is free and open to the public.
“Unless we feel that we truly belong to the natural world, as Pope Francis points out, we will lack sufficient incentive to take care of it as our home,” notes Haught, a specialist in systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion.
Haught contends there is currently a broken connection between humans and nature that has been sanctioned by the notion that the universe has no point, meaning or purpose.
“It is difficult for living and thinking beings, after all, to feel a warm relationship to a universe that seems essentially lifeless and mindless,” notes Haught, the author of 20 books and numerous articles and reviews.
With the help of scientifically informed religious thinkers – including Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Alfred North Whitehead – Haught’s presentation will explore Pope Francis’ affirmation in “Laudato si,” his landmark 2015 encyclical on the environment, that the universe indeed has a purpose, namely: to bring about the self-justifying value of beauty.
Haught has received the Owen Garrigan Award in Science and Religion (2002), the Sophia Award for Theological Excellence (2004), and a “Friend of Darwin Award” (2008) from the National Center for Science Education. He received an honorary doctorate from Louvain University in Belgium (2009) in recognition of his work on science and religion.
The endowed Flannery Chair of Roman Catholic Theology is made possible through a gift of the late Maud and Milo Flannery of Spokane to further the excellence of theological study and teaching at Gonzaga. Gonzaga invites an outstanding theological to campus twice a year to deliver the Flannery Lecture.
For more information, contact Gonzaga’s religious studies department at (509) 313-6782 or www.Gonzaga.edu/religious-studies.